By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 15, 2012 at 05:33 PM EDT
Rick Hoffman
Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/USA Network

This week’s episode of USA’s Suits (Thursday, 10 p.m. ET) is a big one for Louis Litt. Daniel wants to name him a senior partner so he’ll vote for him to replace Jessica as managing partner, and Jessica makes sure Louis knows that if he does side with Daniel and she wins, he’s out at Pearson Hardman. It’s also an important hour for actor Rick Hoffman, who gets to share the screen with his parents, Gail and Charlie Hoffman, who make their acting debuts as Louis’ parents. Watch an exclusive clip below.

Hoffman attributes the guest spot to Suits creator Aaron Korsh being on hand when his parents made an earlier set visit. “No matter what set she’s been on over the last 12 years, my mother always finds a way to get in the way. Not in a bad way,” Hoffman tells EW. “Like, she once got caught on a law show I did called Philly trying to take a picture — she was caught on-camera in the background. She does things like this. This particular time around, they’re sitting there in Video Village watching me do a scene with Meghan and Patrick, and all of a sudden, I hear a giggle out of my left ear. (He recreates it.) I’m thinking to myself as I’m doing my scene, Is that her? If that’s her, I’m gonna kill her. She did it three times. She thinks she’s in, like, an airplane with earphones on watching a movie in her seat. Thank god, she did not ruin a take. But Aaron thought they were a riot. Everyone loved them. And then Aaron had the idea that Louis and his parents use Skype. ‘Do you mind having your parents do it?’ I was like, ‘Nope. Don’t mind at all.'”

Hoffman’s parents were again a hit. “Now there’s a family argument of who’s better. I had this discussion with them last night over dinner. I said, ‘I feel that dad was more natural than you are.’ And my mom just doesn’t feel that way,” he says, laughing. “To get on a show, let alone a show that does well, is such a rare experience. And then to get to work with your real parents I find to be so unbelievably special.”

As for the rest of the episode and next week’s finale, Hoffman won’t tease much. Like a lot of episodes this season, Thursday’s is even more intense than the promo suggests, and the finale won’t lack in excitement, he promises. Here’s what we were able to get out of him:

On Louis’ braces in last week’s flashback episode: “That was a last-minute idea by Kevin Bray. He directed the pilot and a lot of our major episodes. His feel has been all over the show since the beginning. Everyone was scurrying to get me fitted and molded for braces. I was shipped all over the city of Toronto. The more ridiculous they make me look as a character, the happier I am.”

On Louis cross-examining Donna at Harvey’s mock trial and pressuring her to answer whether or not she loves Harvey in the Aug. 2 episode, ‘Sucker Punch’: “With the mock trial, everyone brings out everyone else’s demons. We all couldn’t wait to get our teeth sunk into those great scenes, and one was me cross-examining Donna because everyone knows Louis and Donna have this fun relationship — most of the time. This brings out an interesting element of the history between Louis and Donna: how Louis does know about Donna’s love life, how far they go back. The timing of him bringing it out in front of [everyone at] a cross-examination was very smart writing. That’s the way Suits has been this year. It’s the writing, man,” he says. Harvey is determined to bring Donna back to Pearson Hardman, so what will Louis’ relationship be like with her now? “Louis has a soft spot for her, and you’ll see a little more of that in the season. Whether or not people want to say it’s something romantic or not, it’s something people will notice more and more,” he says. “As much as Louis can be a real pain in the butt to Harvey and Mike, you never really see that with Donna.”

On Louis yelling at Harvey and telling him what happened to Donna during that cross was on him: “When that explosion came out, it was 19 episodes’ worth of all the crap that Louis has taken being completely marginalized by Harvey and Jessica. That’s how I looked at it as an actor. For the first time, Louis is asked to do something for Harvey, and he had every right to take whatever’s he felt and whip it right back at Harvey,” he says. “As devious as Louis is, it’s because he’s so misunderstood. He has good intentions, he just can’t get out of his own way. That’s the sad part. He’s a tragic character. There’s an innocence to him, which is the reason why he may come across as funny at times. He doesn’t know he’s a douche. He thinks he does the right things at all times. That innocence is what I find interesting as an actor.”

On Louis and Rachel’s budding professional friendship: “Certain characters have soft spots for other characters. And when I say ‘soft spot,’ I don’t mean ‘have a crush.’ There’s a weak spot. You’ve seen it already: Rachel ends up enjoying working with Louis, respects Louis, and really is the only character who hasn’t been scorned by Louis. So the writers may take that further [next season]. He respects her, and there’s the potential to use her again for other cases. We still don’t know what score Rachel got on her LSATs. I’ll tell you that we do find that out [this season].”

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